The Fall is Vata time… time to balance and soothe the Vata energy in our bodies and nervous systems. Vata governs movement in the body, the activities of the nervous system, and the process of elimination. Qualities of Vata are Cold, Light, Dry, Irregular, Movement, Quick, Changeable
Those with a predominance of Vata dosha usually have a thin, light frame and excellent agility. Their energy comes in bursts and they are likely to experience sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have dry skin and hair and cold hands and feet. They sleep lightly and their digestion can be sensitive. When the Vata dosha becomes imbalanced, it manifests in the body as weight loss, constipation, hypertension, arthritis, weakness, restlessness, and digestive challenges.
Vatas love excitement and new experiences. They are quick to anger but also to forgive.When Vatas are in balance, they are energetic, creative, and flexible. They also take initiative and are lively conversationalists. When unbalanced, they are prone to worry and anxiousness and often suffer from insomnia. When they feel overwhelmed or stressed, their response is, “What did I do wrong?”
As we get older our sensitive Vata energy gets easily pulled off balance, by wind and cold and stress and irregularity. We become more and more like the autumn leaves falling from the trees, crispy and crunchy, brittle and dry. If you are experiencing an increase in any of the following signs and symptoms, chances are your Vata needs balancing.
SIGNS OF IMBALANCE
- Nervousness, anxiety, panic, fear
- Twitches, tics, tremors, spasms
- Dry or chapped skin
- Constipation, gas, bloating, dry, hard stools
- Low body weight
- Dislike of cold and wind
- Difficulty tolerating loud noises
- Light, interrupted sleep
- Spacey, scattered feeling
- Excess thinking or worrying
To decrease Vata, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. Here are a few underlying concepts that these strategies are based on:
As well as warming, soothing, nourishing foods like soups and casseroles, you should include the following in your daily routine.
- Live as you would imagine a master would: with calm awareness and a gentle pace.
- A regular, daily routine with regular times for eating, sleeping, working, etc.
- A daily 10–20 minute self-massage with ½ cup warm sesame oil.
- A gentle exercise routine that includes a calm, stretch-focused form of yoga, Tai qi (tai chi), qi gong (chi gong), walking, swimming about five times per week.
- Keeping warm, no matter what the weather.
- Sweet, soothing music, smells, scenes and company.
- You can also find an ayurvedic practitioner ( I know a really good one in Southern and Northern Cal) to help diagnose and treat any imbalance with herbs and dietary recommendations)
Isn’t it nice to know you have full permission to take care of body, and soul with simple time tested solutions!